Therefore, Ehrenreich hides her ethnic background and does not claim her English, Scottish and Irish heritage.
Rhetorical Analysis of "Cultural Baggage" Essay
What are Barbara Ehrenreich's thoughts about cultural baggage? However, Ehrenreich is thinking about the importance and influence of the ethnic heritage on her life. She has mixed Scottish, English and Irish roots, but in her family not much attention is paid to the traditions.
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At one time, Ehrenreich felt jealous of people who were proud with their roots and started to think there may be something wrong with her attitude about this topic. This question has become too important for her and she thought about giving the worthful ethnic genes to her own descendants by marrying a man of Eastern European-Jewish ancestry.
After a long time, her children told her that no ethnic heritage matters to them, and Barbara came to the idea that people who do not follow their family traditions and concentrate on their roots. It does not automatically mean they did something wrong because she herself believes that the traditions of one's ethnic background should not be followed all the time.
A person has the freedom to make their own decisions and live the lifestyle they want. How does the ethnic heritage influence one's life? By saying this, there is an implication of the unimportance of heritage to Ehrenreich because she is still contemplating on other possibilities of her origin. Ethnic heritage is a kind of social order that in many aspects determines the way of our behavior.
It influences our appearance, language and beliefs, at least. It also determines the place on the Earth where we start our life and socialization.
Barbara Ehrenreich - Wikipedia
As for me, Barbara's thought about the. Essay Zoo. Sign In. Forgot password? Not register? Register Now! Our Catalog. And then in my early teens I was stung by Disraeli's remark to the effect that his ancestors had been leading orderly, literate lives when my ancestors were still rampaging through the ighlands daubing themselves with blue paint. Motherhood put the screws on me, ethnicity-wise. I had hoped that by marrying a man of Eastern European-Jewish ancestry I would acquire for my descendants the ethnic genes that my own forebears so sadly lacked.
At one point, I even subjected the children to a Passover seder of my own design, which included a little talk about the flight from Egypt and its relevance to modern social issues. But the kids insisted on buttering their matzohs and snickering through my talk. After the tiny pagans had been put to bed, I sat down to brood over Elijah's wine.
What had I been thinking? The kids knew that their Jewish grandparents were secular folks who didn't hold seders themselves. And if ethnicity eluded me, how could I expect it to take root in my children, who are not only Scottish-English-Irish, but Hungarian-Polish-Russian to boot?
But, then, on the fumes of Manischewitz, a great insight took form in my mind. It was true, as the kids said, that I didn't "believe in God. My parents had not believed in God either, nor had my grandparents or any other progenitors going back to the great-great level. They had become disillusioned with Christianity generations ago -- just as, on the in-law side, my children's other ancestors had shaken off their Orthodox Judaism.
This insight did not exactly furnish me with an "identity," but it was at least something to work with: we are the kind of people, I realized -- whatever our distant ancestors' religions -- who do not believe, who do not carry on traditions, who do not do things just because someone has done them before. The epiphany went on: I recalled that my mother never introduced a procedure for cooking or cleaning by telling me, "Grandma did it this way.
In my parents' general view, new things were better than old, and the very fact that some ritual had been performed in the past was a good reason for abandoning it now. Because what was the past, as our forebears knew it? Nothing but poverty, superstition and grief.
In fact, this may have been the ideal cultural heritage for my particular ethnic strain -- bounced as it was from the Highlands of Scotland across the sea, out to the Rockies, down into the mines and finally spewed out into high-tech, suburban America. What better philosophy, for a race of migrants, than "think for yourself"? What better maxim, for a people whose whole world was rudely inverted every 30 years or so, than "try new things"? The more tradition minded, the newly enthusiastic celebrants of Purim and Kwanzaa and Solstice, may see little point to survival if the survivors carry no cultural freight -- religion, for example, or ethnic tradition.
To which I would say that skepticism, curiosity and wide-eyed ecumenical tolerance are also worthy elements of the human tradition and are at least as old as such notions as "Serbian" or "Croatian," "Scottish" or "Jewish. A few weeks ago, I cleared my throat and asked the children, now mostly grown and fearsomely smart, whether they felt any stirrings of ethnic or religious identity, etc.
Related thesis of cultural baggage by barbara ehrenreich
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